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More About E.L.F
E.L.F. Logo
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Elf Description
E.L.F. Demonstrations
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Brief Description of the ELF Series

The ELF Series is an interactive CD-ROM that teaches service words to young children with hearing loss. Service words are words that cannot easily be shown or explained to young children who are deaf or hard of hearing.  These words include prepositions, articles, conjunctions, "to be" verbs and other verbs, adverbs, pronouns, and adjectives. Service words constitute up to 75% of the words in basal readers, and therefore, are very important for young children with hearing loss to learn in preparation for learning to read.

In the ELF Series, service words are brought to life through the use of interactive animation, self-paced instruction, assessment, and delightful, age-appropriate songs and games. Teachers/parents can print out the self-paced assessment results to monitor child progress.

There are 13 units in the Series on 5 disks. The Series is available in Manually Coded English (MCE), Spoken English, or American Sign Language (ASL).

The ELF Series was designed primarily for use by preschool to second grade children with hearing loss at individual computers. Older children may benefit from the Series, and certainly the Series can be used in group/classroom situations with touch screens, SMARTboards, and LCDs. The Series can also be used successfully at home. Field test results indicate that children who use the ELF Series make significant gains in language and literacy development, and their understanding of service words and their print forms significantly improves.

More Detailed Description of the ELF Series

The ELF Series teaches young children with hearing loss service words.  Service words are hard to show or explain to young children who are deaf.  Service words are different from words that are easy to show or explain (like apple, bottle, etc.).  Service words include prepositions, articles, conjunctions, "to be" verbs and other verbs, adverbs, pronouns, and adjectives. For example, words like the following are service words: "on," "up" (prepositions), "a," "the" (articles), "and," "because" (conjunctions), "is," "are" ("to be" verbs), "away," "later" (adverbs), "he," "she" (prounouns), and "more" and "hard" (adjectives). These little non‑content words constitute up to 75% of the vocabulary in basal readers.

Service words are especially difficult for young children who are deaf to learn. This is because young children with hearing loss may not easily hear these words and learn them in context.  Also, the meanings of service words are typically non‑concrete and non‑visual, so these words are especially difficult to show or explain to young deaf children (How do you show a deaf child the meaning of "because" or "of"?).

In addition, deaf children of hearing parents who sign what they say (Total Communication) are often not frequently exposed to the signs for service words since it is almost impossible for hearing persons to sign all they say, and the signed words that typically fall out are the service words. Deaf children of hearing parents who learn and use American Sign Language (ASL) that has no speech equivalent also are not typically exposed to service words because ASL does not include many of the service words used in spoken English.

What is in the ELF Series?

The ELF Series is an interactive CD‑ROM that brings the meanings and concepts of over 130 service words to life for young children with hearing loss. One way this is done is through the use of interactive animation. For example, for the service word "away" (adverb) an animation is shown of a child gesturing for a dog to leave, and the dog then trotting "away." The child is then encouraged to "click" to make the animation happen again. Animations for the service word concepts are paired with their print forms.

There are 13 units in the ELF Series. Each unit includes interactive animation, self‑paced instruction and assessment, and delightful, age‑appropriate songs and games.

The ELF Series was designed primarily for use by preschool to second grade children with hearing loss at individual computers. Older children may benefit from the series, and certainly the series can be used in group/classroom situations with touch screens, SMARTboards, and LCDs.

Since deaf children use different methods of communication, the ELF Series is available in the three most commonly used methods: American Sign Language, Manually Coded English, and Spoken English. This makes it possible for the communication method most appropriate for each child or classroom to be used.

What Are The Units?

Each of the 13 units in the ELF Series includes about 10 service word concepts organized around a theme that covers a service word category like pronouns, adjectives, etc. The themes and service word categories of the ELF units are:

  Unit 1:   Prepositions: Where I Am and Where I Am Going!
  Unit 2:   Verbs I: Fun At The Farm
  Unit 3:   Verbs II: Experience Books
  Unit 4:   Verbs III: Making Hot Chocolate . . . Yum!
  Unit 5:   Feeling Words: We Have Lots of Feelings!
  Unit 6:   Adjectives I: Doing Laundry
  Unit 7:   Adjectives II: Dressing‑up
  Unit 8:   Colors: Sponge Painting
  Unit 9:   Numbers: Fun With Numbers!
  Unit 10:   Pronouns: Getting Presents
  Unit 11:   To Be Verbs/Helper Verbs: Roller Skating
  Unit 12:   Adverbs: Toy Trains Are Fun!
  Unit 13   Articles, Conjunctions, and Markers: We Like To Make Loud Music!
 

What Is In Each Unit?

There are four parts to each ELF unit: The first part shows the service words being used in natural daily activities. This part is called "Having Fun."

The second part, "Come Play With Me," is the central feature of the ELF Program. The child sees and/or hears the service word long with the printed word, an example sentence, and an animation.

Each screen has green arrows for the child to repeat the word, sentence, or animation as many times as needed to learn the concept.

The third part of each unit offers a self‑paced assessment for the child to select the correct printed word for each service word concept. This part is called "Which One?".

Each assessment is scored and can be printed for the teacher to monitor student progress.

The final section of each unit is filled with delightful songs and games and is a review of the service words taught in the unit. This part is called "Songs and Games."

 

Field Test:
The ELF Series was field tested with 127 children in Utah School for the Deaf classrooms. Treatment children who used the program made gains significantly larger on a measure of early language/literacy development than control children who did not use the program. The treatment children also made significant gains in their understanding of service words and their print forms.

 

Award:
The ELF Series won the Telly Award, a nationally recognized competition that honors the finest of educational video and film products.

 

Contact:
HOPE

1856 North 1200 East
North Logan, UT 84341
435-245-2888
hope@hopepubl.com